Mo’Club, Southampton

Skindred

It’s my first trip to the Mo’Club tonight, and I don’t think it’ll be my last, as although the venue feels as if it’s not quite finished, the sell-out crowd, atmosphere and decent sound manages to overcome having to humorously brace the men’s outside porta-loos.

Tonight’s headliners, Skindred, are set to release their fifth studio album ‘Kill The Power’ in the next few days, and it seems that they are continuing to peak their achievements, as time has added wind to their sails and seen their army of fans growing stronger.

Opening tonight are Los Angeles sextet, Viza, who’s initial brand of crunching rock reveals an array of twists and turns. Heavily comprising of Armenian members, the band express their roots through the Armenian folk tones of the oud (look it up), which coincides emphatically with intricate guitar work and pulsating percussion. Their sound is unlike anything you’ll find in the UK, as the exotic fluency of their instrumentals orchestrates an impressive response from a gradually building crowd. The likes of ‘Midnight Hour’ and ‘Viktor’ have the crowd moving before the capacity has been reached. It’s likely that more than a few of the audience tonight will be seeking a return to Britain for Viza, who will have surprised more than a few following an exhilarating start to the evening.

Viza
Viza 12

A quick glance around the packed venue tells me that Soil are somewhat part of the main attraction tonight, as the menacing outfit emerge to a euphoric uproar from the crowd. Their immediate stage presence and raw power in their performance has the crowd moving from the start, with material from their defining album “Scars” catalysing triumphant sing-alongs and leaving front man, Ryan McCombs smiling from ear to ear. Their passionate onslaught during newer material from latest record, “Whole” even manages to maintain the heights of their heated performance, but closing with the classic “Halo” was always bound to strike as a highlight. As long as their fans stay true to the band they love, Soil will remain an outstanding force on-stage for many years to come.

Soil
Soil 12

When you witness a band who have been described as the best live act in the world, it’s only natural to expect some sort of decline in excitement for your fourth encounter. However, this assumption couldn’t be further from reality, as Benji Webbe’s immediate presence on-stage sends the sold out venue into complete chaos from the moment “Rat Race” kicks in. There’s an exceptional quality to Skindred’s live show which no other band can replicate, stemming from the tendency for this band to defy the meaning of genre and create choruses worthy of Wembley Stadium. Dipping and diving in-between clever samples such as Macklemore’s “Thrift Shop” into “Trouble”, the band manage to recharge the crowd through perfect interlude transitions, which allows newer singles “Ninja” and “Kill The Power” to receive an intense response.

Skindred

Skindred 123

Even when the band preview glimpses of their new album, “Kill The Power”, Benji still manages to keep the crowd in the palm of his hands through his larger than life persona. The front man demonstrates his flawless vocal ability through the passionate power ballad ‘We Live’, with no signs that his flamboyant delivery will be leaving him any time soon. As always, the show ends with the mastermind Mikey Demus’ proudest riff, and “Warning” orchestrates one final blast of manic fury with the timeless Newport helicopter soaring proudly over Southampton. There really is no other way to put it; Skindred are in a league of their own. Their fans still offer the same love and energy every show, they have a smashing new album set for release and no one else can touch them. Best live band in the world? I think so.

Set Lists
Skindred
Intro: Thunderstruck/Star Wars Imperial March
Rat Race
Stand For Something
Doom Riff
Ninja
State Of Emergency
Selector
Cut Dem
Babylon/Bruises
Drum Solo/DJ Spacebar
Kill The Power
Worlds On Fire
Trouble/Sad But True(Metallica)
Pressure/Take The Power Back
Saturday
Nobody

We Live
Warning
Outro Nobody Does it Better (Carly Simon)

Soil
Loaded Gun
Breaking Me Down
My Own
Shine On
Need To Feel
Redefine
Hate Sons
Unreal
Black Betty
Halo

Videos


“Kill The Power” is released 27th January

Links
https://www.facebook.com/skindredofficial
https://www.facebook.com/SOiLmusic
https://www.facebook.com/vizamusic

Words by George Fullerton.
Pictures & Videos By Dave Chinery (Chinners)

Post to Twitter Post to Facebook Post to MySpace